on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Letters on the land

Mike Green

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I've been subconsciously drawn to recognisable patterns on the land for some time now. These images span two years - over half my photographic 'career' - and it took me some considerable part of that to recognise that I was frequently composing frames based on common glyphs. That is, I was seeing and using familiar markings, such as letters, as the starting point for my images. Naturally, when I thought I'd make a submission to 4x4 I started off by looking through my photographs for what I thought was my favourite letter-subject: 'C'. Whilst I found many 'C's, I was distinctly surprised to discover that I actually have considerably more 'Z's and mirrored 'Z's, hence the 'Z' forms part of the rationale for this set of zig-zag shapes.

'Z' is the obvious motif, but I also wanted to spread them across a wide geography to illustrate how themes recur, both in the landscape and, perhaps more significantly, in the mind of the photographer, irrespective of location. That helped to narrow my options down to the images included here which come from South America, North America and Europe. Finally, I wanted to include a variety of surfaces, all linked by the 'Z', so the texture in this set ranges from hard rock, through gravel, then soil-plus-scrub-grass, to the relative verdant abundance of a damp, Scottish summer!

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